About last night … with audio

“Ça fait mal.”
For the benefit of those who speak French as well as Randy Cunneyworth, Michel Therrien’s analysis on L’Antichambre means:
“That hurt.”

How badly did it hurt?

When it was his turn to render a verdict during the RDS postgame show, Vincent Damphousse didn’t pull his punches.

He said the Canadiens will miss the playoffs.

By winning, Tampa Bay moved past the Canadiens into 12th place in the Eastern Conference. Both teams have 35 points, but the Lightning have played two fewer games.

It’s fine and dandy to point out the Canadiens are a mere six points out of eighth-place.

But there are four teams between them and that lofty ideal. And the Canadiens have played more games than everyone in the Eastern Conference except 14th-place Carolina.

The Canadiens are behind the eight-, nine-, 10-, 11-  and 12-balls. Moreover, the task of getting past all those teams in front of them is complicated by three-point games.

Make no mistake. “Mike” Therrien is right on. In blowing a lead and losing for the 14th time this season, the Canadiens have sustained a body blow to their hopes of playing hockey in mid-April. Because of  so many wasted leads, they are a fragile team that plays with the constant expectation that the other skate is about to drop.

And the worst of it: You can hang the latest loss on two players who have been carrying the team this season:

• Carey Price failed to control the puck on the J.T. Wyman goal that brough the Lightning off the ropes and back into the game. He was then beaten by something less than a MAB laser, then failed to get on the puck again during the sequence that led to Vincent Lecavalier’s winner.

• On that goal, Erik Cole lost a faceoff  to Lecavalier and then failed to pick up Vinny in coverage.

Add one more goat: Randy Cunneyworth.

On a defensive zone faceoff in a 3-3 game, why didn’t the coach have two centres on the ice? Once lars Eller was chased from the circle, Cole had to take the faceoff and Lecavalier beat him easily.

The home team went 29-20 on draws. The Lightning also outhit the Canadiens 22-18.

And the three unanswered goals came against each of the Canadiens’ D pairings and the Nokelainen, Plekanec and Eller  lines. So lots of minuses to go around.

But for the long stretches of the game, the guys in white jerseys were the better team – which makes the loss that much more painful.

“Everybody did a great job for the most part,” Cunneyworth said after the game.

There was much to savor before the roof caved in:

• Mike Cammalleri scored again – his first power-play goal since March 30. The renascent sniper had five SoG. I don’t know why he wasn’t on when the Canadiens had a 6-on-4 and were trying to tie the game.

• Raphael Diaz had two assists and Alexei Emelin had six hits to lead both teams. They are hastening the day when Chris Campoli and Yannick Weber become former Montreal Canadiens.

• Despite taking a bad penalty, Eller played a solid game with his big linemates and put in quality PP and PK time. He and DD both had more ToI than Tomas Plekanec.

• The power play looked dangerous, as it did in Ottawa.

• P.K. Subban took a bad penalty but played 26:33, had four SoG and blocked a couple shots.

• The league’s best road PK pitched another shutout.

• Cunneyworth was able to roll four lines, and the Canadiens’ 34 shots – to 22 for Tampa Bay – included some excellent scoring chances.

But Mathieu Garon is not Craig Anderson.

And for one of the few times this season, Carey Price wasn’t Carey Price.

It’s on to Sunrise, where the Canadiens play the Panthers on New Year’s Eve and try to end 2011 on a winning note, rekindling hope that this season can be salvaged.

•  •  •

If it comes to pass that the Canadiens miss the playoffs and Geoff Molson cleans house, here’s my ticket for broom-wielders:

General Manager: Julien BriseBois

Coach: Guy Carbonneau.


  1. jyeager11 says:

    Did whoever’s running The Gazette promise Christmas bonuses to everyone who’d help him push Carbonneau as the next Habs coach?

    Am I the only one who remembers how badly things went for Guy last time he was here? He wasn’t communicating with the players. He told the media the players know where to find him if they have questions. The players said they went to him regularly, but he never had anything to say so they just gave up communicating with him.

    And after hitting a rough patch, Carbonneau told the media he was at a loss about how to turn the team around. He literally admitted he had no idea what else he could do to get back on the winning road. That’s all Gainey needed to hear to fire him.

    His firing wasn’t unjust. It wasn’t a crime. It was earned through stubbornness and lack of creativity.

    And how many other teams have rushed to hire Carbo since that disaster? None. Not even Dallas wanted him. Meanwhile, Carbo tells the world he’s too good for the minors. The same minors Muller and Cunneyworth agreed to go to. And where are those two coaching today?

    Eventually, Carbo did reluctantly agree to coach his Saguenéens for a few games… and he lost most of them.

    Now we know why he didn’t want to go to the minors. He had a winning record in Montreal, because Gainey set the table for him. He wants to ride that record to another multi-million dollar contract before anyone realizes he really doesn’t know what he’s doing.

    Honestly. Does ANYTHING about Carbo give anyone the impression that he knows what he’s doing?

  2. MannyP says:

    Guy Carbonneau? Really? What’s with the Gazette and Guy Carbonneau? Is it management’s decision to endorse Guy Carbonneau’s presidential bid? What’s going on? And do you guys not listen to him when he speaks on RDS? He is empty of any substance, has a lot of trouble communicating any pertinent thought and his last 2 coaching stints (Sags and under-17 champs.) have been utter failures. Think Kirk Muller had anything to do with his relative success as head-coach of the Habs? C’mon.

  3. DickandDanny says:

    From my take and in speaking with others who are in the know the Wyman goal should not have been allowed. It also should not have been reviewed.

    According to rule 78.5 (xii) Disallowed Goals – Apparent goals shall be disallowed by the Referee when the Referee deems the play has been stopped, even if he had not physically had the opportunity to stop play by blowing his whistle.

    38.4 Situations Subject to Video Review – The following situations are subject to review by the Video Goal Judge: I checked each category under this heading and there is no review mentioned for situations when the puck enters the net following the blowing of the whistle. This Goal can’t be reviewed.

    We got jobbed again. I don’t recall this happening in the old days. Maybe it’s payback, don’t know but I have never seen so many calls go against us. And wrong calls at that.

    “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

  4. rick says:

    Who would you want as an assistant GM and coaches? Would you keep Trevor Timmins?

    • MannyP says:

      Pierre Gauthier is a fine hockey man. Would be a shame if he was let go. But GM of a hyper-publicized team like the Habs might not be the best fit for him. Hopefully he agrees to stay on with the organization in a less public role.

  5. kinghing says:

    http://yep。it/qpmsmn Look !!!,how the nice film pictures !!!

  6. keepthefaith says:

    Boy do some of you need help. Did I just read someone bringing up Halak again? Pffft. Way to ruin all your credibility. Cole our leading scorer and only Power Forward for a second round pick. Hahahah. Is PG posting here or what. You guys are delusional. It’s fun to play dress up though isn’t it?

  7. get_real says:

    A team cannot fake talent. Most of the player are giving it there best but they come short against most other teams on talent.

    The only problem is The Habs Admin team .. the up and down the boards hockey is out-dated and in-effective against skilled teams.

    However HABS sales are going through the roof .. so financial their performance is outstanding.

    If I had to recommend one tough move to PG & friends .. Fire Yooopi .. he is the core of all the problems.

  8. Filthy Phil says:

    Pierre McGuire for GM.
    Let him choose the coach and everything else.

  9. Number31 says:

    If not for Price, Stamkos has a hat trick long before that goal (that should not have counted anyway because the whistle blew before the puck crossed the line). But hey, it’s the NHL. They change the rules on the fly all the time. Whether it’s Price holding the puck for over 5 seconds in OT or Patches nearly dying on the ice, same old garbage.

    Seriously tho, how many times this team gets screwed on Intent to Blow (or quick whistles) when against Sun Belt teams (mostly Carolina)? This is the first time I have ever seen Toronto get involved to overturn it. Never should have gone to a replay anyway. Ref in the zone lost sight of the puck, thought it was in his pads, blew the play dead, c’est fini, he apologizes to the team and we all move on. I don’t care if the guy on the other end of the ice saw differently, it’s not HIS zone.

    So new tactics: wait for the ref to blow the whistle then shoot the puck in the net. It’ll count!

  10. Arrow77 says:

    I’m also disappointed but let’s not get carried away here. It’s true that we’re slipping in the standings but we haven’t reached the halfway mark yet. Time is still our friend. Look at the teams ahead of us: all of them have problems of their own. The good aspect of racing for the 8th place, is that every contender is likely to beat themselves.

    And our team is playing better right now. If the only player that has to pick up his game for the team to start a winning streak is Carey Price, than I really like our chances.

    I’m not saying our situation is good. I’m not saying we will make the playoff for sure. What I’m saying is that last night isn’t the night we got out off the race.

  11. ZimHabwe says:

    Some of you are starting to sound like you want to file for divorce with a team you fell in love with many years ago to pursue a younger team out west. What happened to through thick and thin, in sickness and in health; till death do us part? I know this CH is a bit of a gold digger always wanting you to spend your week’s wages on expensive tickets and beverages. Lately it feels like you’re getting nothing in return. But you had good times; And you will have good times again. Things will get better. This I guarantee. Just don’t leave now because the relationship is rocky.

  12. DorvalTony says:

    How can anyone say Price is doing the job when he’s 21st in SV PCT and 26th in GAA?

  13. piter says:

    Damn refs, they sure put the whistle away. They were weak calls against the Habs, and basically no calls against the Bolts. Also, their goal that trickled in. The whistle plainly blew before the puck rolled in, and still a goal?. The explanation was the ref saw the light on and called it in. How? Why? Like Cunny (lol, every time I write his name)said, he thought it was a “whistle” replay, not a “it was on its way in at the time of the whistle” replay. F__ing refs!!!Well I guess they are keeping it consistent, they screw the Habs as often as they can get away with it. Oh well, doesn’t matter, when we can’t keep a lead.

    • get_real says:

      Stop blaming .. damit .. Habs fans are now blaming everyting but the skill level on the ice and even worst the Admin-Team that manage the team.

    • get_real says:

      Get real .. did the refs not call back clear goals on Price & Boudy .. even though they never had control of the puck.. the goals were good .. not because I say so but because the NHL has a skilled team of fair people with super replay videos to make those calls. Stop blamming

  14. RockinRey says:

    Mr. Boone Carbo as coach?! I respectfully disagree! Same goes with Hartley, Mike Therrien, Tremblay et al. Bring in a proven commodity.Not retreads. Where to find the right guy? Not sure ,but I am sure a francophone is not the priority here. This organization needs to clean house.

    You said yourself if a Ken Holland was available they would be silly not to bring him in. Bring in a progressive thinker, someone who is not impulsive and can put a plan together. These guys already had their chance to do their thing. The Habs would be best to move on. But first they have to clean house and do a better job of identifying talent.

  15. Ali says:

    It’s funny, JM never had two centermen on the ice to protect leads, but Mike never called him out on that. Only Melnick used to do so.

  16. dano58 says:

    Just a thought on GM job. Why don’t we think outside the box and hire someone with business finance experience. Who says that once you retire you become smarter than the agents who represented you when you were a player and negotiated contracts for you. It has worked in baseball for Theo Epstein and we have money like Sox had. Also let’s get Campbell as he is UFA this year and maybe a few calls in the front office will go our way since his father is still there in a role a la Gainey. Happy New year and GO HABS GO.

  17. HardHabits says:

    It will only be in 2015 when the Habs will be able to start turning things around. Nobody will take Cammy, Gionta or Kaberle off the Habs hands. Markov is done. Even Pleks and Cole would be hard to trade.

    That is why a clean sweep is needed from the top down. Gainey tried and failed. It has to be acknowledged. I wouldn’t mind him staying on if he accepted the next 2-3 seasons outside the play-offs with a real rebuild via the draft and no more free agent nonsense.

    Get real guys. The Habs are a joke. Not because they will tank. But because they think they are too good to tank.

    • RetroMikey says:

      I agree with you 200% HH.
      The experiment is over with this club.
      When will the fans wake up and smell the coffee and see we need to rebuild than retool????
      Tank I say! Tank!
      Yes our Habs are a joke and will choke for years to come if changes are not made, there needs to be a 200% makeover in the organization.

      “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

    • Bryan says:

      You’re wrong if you think Pleks/Gio/Cammy/Cole don’t have value on the trade market.

      – Cammy would easily fetch at least a mid-1st + decent prospect
      – Gio would get a late first or early 2nd
      – Cole is hard to judge, but at LEAST a 2nd at this point
      – Pleks would be an early first or a top prospect to a team like Columbus or Florida.


      The Habs are making me slightly less bi-polar.

    • J.T. says:

      The most bitter realization they’ll come to isn’t that they were fooling themselves into thinking they’re too good to tank. It’s that they thought they had a choice about it.


    • get_real says:

      I agree .. You cannot fake talent and this team lacks talent. Most of the players are doing their bgest but falling way short on the talent and skill level against the opposing team.

      The habs ADMIN team BobG & PG are the problem .. and this for many years.

      The only exicting event is how our back goalie Halak lifted this town only to get kicked out because he made cotten ball Price look bad.

  18. HardHabits says:

    Jacques Lemaire as GM. Let him pick his hockey people. Thank Gainey. Show him the door.

    But first break up the old boys club:

    Interesting Sports-Quebec Gala Photos from 2008.

    Is it any wonder why the Habs are where they are or who owns them now?

    I never knew the Habs hockey team has become a social club.

  19. habfan01 says:

    Question on the Bolt’s second goal maybe someone can answer for me. Was watching the game on Centerice- which meant it was the Tampa feed. The question on the review seemed to be whether the whistle had blown. The ref behind the net was waving his arms to signal no goal. I thought that a question of whether the puck crossed the line after a whistle was non reviewable? Which means the ref waving off the goal should have had a faceoff in our end and no goal.

  20. Bogie Man says:

    I have always been a habs fan no matter what through thick and thin. Now for the first time in 40 years, I am considering changing my loyalty. I feel strongly that they need to make changes in management/ coaches and players and have felt this way for over two years now and we have successfully signed washed up players to big contracts and have not been able to successfully sign anyone of great value. I am done and will look at teams in the western conference such as chicago, Los Angeles and Detroit. Real hockey towns with real strong management with people who know about hockey! See everyone on the golf course…
    Cest La Vie….

    • idle says:

      Apparently you don’t remember Chicago & Detroit in the 80’s.

      Los Angeles has been a frustrating team for 6 years now. I know because I kept picking them in my playoff pools and they kept shitting the bed.

      But if it makes you feel better to bail on your team after 40 years then go ahead.

      • Bogie Man says:

        You know the definition of stupidity? It is when you keep trying the same things and expect a different outcome. The management of the Canadiens are beyond stupid by this definetion and I as a fan have the right to choose. I can continue to support this team despite how frustrated I get with their inability to make a good choices or I can become a fan of another team that is giving me the appearance that currently they know what they are doing.

  21. boonie says:

    Boone, “salvation” will come when the organization fails with this lot and turns the page to a fresh bunch.

    The days of savard, carbo, julie, PG, gainey et al need to end. Succession planning from within are for organizations that WON something. Scotty should have followed Sam. It’s time to find new blood.

  22. J.J. of Turku says:

    About my last night:

    It was a little past 5:00 AM and there was under 2 mins left in the game. Habs got PP and Hockeystreams switched the feed to Beavis and Butthead. Nice. Would have been nice to see the end, even though we lost…


  23. The Cat says:

    The habs dont deserve to make the playoffs but its a bit drastic to say they wont so early. I know theres other teams in front and the loser point makes it difficult but given the nature of the NHL where winning streaks and teams falling from grace are more probable than not, Id say its still possible…Winnipeg was 13th not so long ago and now theyre in 7th, NJ too if Im not mistaken.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  24. Habitforming says:

    Come on Boone. Seriously?

    Carbo and Julien?

    If they must be former players (french) and suck at the job to be a coach I’d rather go with someone who has never tried it…. Damphousse maybe? Can he really be worse than Carbo?

    As for Julien, zero real experience, and just a lawyer. Not hard to find someone better there either is it?

    • TommyB says:

      I think Carbo would be good now that he wouldn’t have the Koivu/Kovalev rift in the dressing room to deal with. I think that was a huge reason for his lack of success. That’s why Gainey had to go behind the bench after dismissing Carbo. It’s like when mom can’t handle the kids, and dad has to step in and straighten out the little brats. Which Gainey did, immediately, following the end of the season. I’m not saying Carbo would be the perfect coach for this team, but he would be far better than most others that come to mind. Just my opinion, of course.

      • J.J. of Turku says:

        Koivu is known all over the world as a bad apple in every dressing room?


        • TommyB says:

          Koivu was not infallable as a player or as a captain. There were issues in the dressing room, and it seemed to be split down the middle with Koivu on one side and Kovalev on the other side. I don’t choose sides in the matter, wasn’t my job. But it was the job of Gainey. And I was satisfied to see both players gone from the roster and I have no regrets regarding either of them being shown the door.

          • krob1000 says:

            Hmmm Kovalev…known to be a problem everywhere he has been…or Koivu…never heard a bad word about him…ever ..never a single negative thing from a hockey person. Think about that…never one bad word that I can ever recall…
            Koivu is perhaps one of the classiest players to ever wear a CH on his chest…becuase he didn’t play in a 6 team leauge or in a dynasty era doesn;t take that away from him.

    • Marc10 says:

      I don’t think there was anything wrong with Carbo. Look at the guys he had to work with…

      As for Julien Brisebois, he’s a cap management guy. That’s why he was sought out by Tampa Bay on Boucher’s recommendation (and as part of gutting whatever depth our organisation had….) By most accounts he was a bright star in the Habs’ org chart.

      After this gut wrenching loss, I think we have to be realistic and pull the plug… At best we’ll pull a New Jersey and have a strong second half only to miss the playoffs by a good margin.

      This is the last go round for a host of players on this team so let’s make sure we find them a good home for the playoffs in return for picks and prospects.

      And hopefully this is the last go round for Pierre Gauthier. It wasn’t all his fault but his penchant for small, soft, skilled players has compounded Bob’s misguided philosophy. Whoever replaces him needs to build a team that beats the Bruins, the Flyers, the Caps, the Pens and the Rangers.

      Get er done Geoff.

      • JF says:

        Good post. Agree about the season, Carbo, and Gauthier. Carbo had a great record before the team imploded. Gainey’s gutting the team after spending two months behind the bench suggests he realized Carbo wasn’t the problem.

        As for Gauthier, he’s done some good things, including making the team tougher by bringing in Cole and persuading Emelin to come over. But the Markov situation will cost him his job, as well as the firing of Jacques Martin, or at least its timing (not to mention his cavalier attitude to the language issue).

  25. Aaron13 says:

    Why hire Julien BriseBois – a very young lawyer – to be GM?. How about hiring a smart ex-player who knows how to spot prospects, and make GOOD acquistions or trades. We don’t need a paper pusher to negotiate salaries or who will, as in the case of PG, talk about “global schemes” to the press. There are plenty of legal negotiators floating in the ether and plenty of people who say nothing when they open their mouths.

    We’re stuck with highly-paid players whose output is poor or sadly, in the case of Markov, nil. I think His career is over.

  26. solomio says:

    The bottom line is that the Habs played very well. RC has a system and the players are buying into it. Habs had a great forecheck and scored 3 goals which really should have been enuff to win that game. Things are looking up and it is definitely not too late to make a strong run and the playoffs.
    This team is gelling men and things are starting to change for the better, much much better.

    “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

    • TommyB says:

      You’re right about RC, IMO. I’ve noticed a lot more jump, and a lot more creativity with our forwards lately. I think it has to be RC giving them more freedom to push for goals, while JM was all about “get back”. When you had a veteran player such as Cole saying they were playing scared with a two-goal lead, afraid to make mistakes, you have to think that JM was just a bit too much of a tyrannical coach defensively. Cunneyworth, who worked under JM, surely had no choice but to go along with his boss, but now as the head coach he knows he must tinker with that old system in order to get some scoring going.

      I think that is starting to show through now, and last night was a great example. Unfortunately, Biron was on his game, and as so many are so quick to point out, Carey had some difficulties last night. Yeah, let’s hang Price and Cole out to dry. However, the sad thing is that the Goat waited far too long to make a coaching change, and this team has a huge task in front of it, if it is to make the playoffs. It is do-able as you point out, but it gets more unlikely with each loss. A winning streak is sorely needed.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Totally agree. I t may be too late though.

      If the HABS continue to play like this there will be benefits in the long run.

      Real development will happen. We will see which players can ‘think’ the game at high speed. We will see which players are just fluidly deceptive skaters (practice mavens) and which players can bring it into the game.

      And we will see the team build responsibility for each other and not for a ‘system’. There is no team game in sport where mistakes do not happen when skill and daring feats are attempted at high speed. The chemistry of a good team is shown when players react to recover and back-up each other in those moments.

      This system will provide dividends in the long run. Unfortunately there may not be a continuation after this season.

  27. Bobcat Bob says:

    Bobcat Bob
    Completely outplayed the Lightning and got major screwed by the refs ( twice) — Rats leaving the ship – go cheer for someone else — still plenty of time to finish 5 or 6th. Go Habs Go. No Negative Nellies needed thank you very much.

    • habsfn4 says:

      At least the guys are playing well…on the most part. Cycling more, still not enough, back checking, speed game, making plays, scoring. D will continue to be a problem. Trade Kaberle, Cammalleri, Campoli, Weber, Gionta. Get some draft picks. No playoffs this year. No neg nellie, realistic, look at the numbers, they are the tale of the tape. 2011-2012 here we come?

  28. chinahab says:

    Team needs to face facts: send LL back so he can develop properly; try to trade Kaberle and maybe Cammalleri at trade deadline. We need to get a lottery pick. Habs have a good core but missing some key pieces that we can’t get through UFA route.
    Next summer bury Gomez in the minors or buy him out (especially if there’s an out in the new CBA). As for Markov, maybe do the same.
    We should NOT make a Toronto style run after the all-star break, coming up just short or first-round and out. We need an influx of cheap talent and can only get that by tanking. Painful to say it but it’s inescapable.

  29. d0ppler says:

    Can we please get Jacques Martin back??! PLEASE!

    • habsfn4 says:

      No way bring JM back. At least now the guys are playing well…on the most part. Cycling more, still not enough, back checking, speed game, making plays, scoring. D will continue to be a problem. Trade Kaberle, Cammalleri, Campoli, Weber, Gionta. Get some draft picks. No playoffs this year.

  30. Boomer says:

    Mr. Boone,
    I’m horrible with names, who is Julien Brisebois?

    Boom baby!

  31. keepthefaith says:

    I’ll take two of whatever shaker is smokin. I’m sorry but anyone who wants MAB on the Habs I can’t take serious.

  32. montreal ace says:

    Eighth place is still within our reach, and maybe seventh. When is all this talent and money we have on the sidelines, going to make an appearance. We are talking eighth, not first, why in hell should we give up this early. This team should have won tonight, and are playing better, so I think a winning streak is not out of the picture. I think the Canadiens can still make trades for some size, with just players involved and not draft choices. The refs tonight and the decisions were bizarre, but not for the fact they helped a sunbelt team. Eighth freaking place, thats not too much too ask

    • MasterHab says:

      Is the height of your ambition to see the Habs squeak into 8th place just so you can watch them get annihilated in the first round? The only one who wants that is Geoff Molson because making it to the post-season guarantees him 2 playoff gates worth about $2 million each in pure profit.

      But as a fan, what’s your interest in watching the rest of this abortion known as the 2011-12 Habs? Teams that finish in the 8th seed never win Cups and only rarely go more than a round. Time was that the stated goal of this team was to win championships. Anything less than that was considered a failure. Now you want me to lower my standards so much that I should actually care whether this crappy team squeezes into 8th instead of 9th or 10th or 13th?

      Sorry, but if this is all I have to look forward to I’m checking out early this year. Wake me when this team is a CUP contender again, not merely a contender for the last playoff berth because I’m not interested in playing make-believe.

      • montreal ace says:

        I think it would be a shame, if the Canadiens got all their players back, and showed they could play with any team in the league, but had no shot at the playoffs.

      • Jim Edson says:

        It would make a difference only if you ask the bean-counters!

        5 mill per home playoff game is significant.

        What does the Commissioner of the NHL do?

        In short, a league commissioner is the action man for the Board of Governors.

        They tell him what they want done and he works to make it happen through his subordinates while making sure that individual franchises play by the rules.

        ******** Translated if you haven’t won the Stanley Cup in 40 years your NHL team is becoming irrelevant in a sports mad city long behind MLB, NFL and NBA teams, you just tell the commissioner(who you gave a new contract at 7 plus million per) to make it happen and the rules are bent sufficiently to action the command.

      • bajd says:

        I’m begging that the organization will drop the mantra, “hey if we can just make the playoffs, anything can happen.” I find it disgusting and rather mediocre. 1/2 the teams in the league make the playoffs, so the organization’s mantra is, hey let’s be average. I’d rather finish in last place and rebuild properly as opposed to the constant finishing between 6th and 11th every year for 16yrs save for 1 season. It’s a bit of a farce

  33. Jim Edson says:

    Who really gives a rats ass what the losers on L’Antichambre say or think?

    They have zero input to the running of the Habs and for the most part are on L’Antichambre as a result of their own NHL failures(coaches and players) or the fact that they are lifers in a dead end press corps!

    They get far too much credo for their actual value especially here!

    What does the Commissioner of the NHL do?

    In short, a league commissioner is the action man for the Board of Governors.

    They tell him what they want done and he works to make it happen through his subordinates while making sure that individual franchises play by the rules.

    ******** Translated if you haven’t won the Stanley Cup in 40 years your NHL team is becoming irrelevant in a sports mad city long behind MLB, NFL and NBA teams, you just tell the commissioner(who you gave a new contract at 7 plus million per) to make it happen and the rules are bent sufficiently to action the command.

  34. Sotxhabsfan says:

    While I don’t necessarily think he should remain as GM of the Canadiens, I wouldn’t want him dead. Maybe it’s just because I live in Texas and there are no passionate Habs fans here…

  35. Josh says:

    6 points from 8th*

  36. Frank2468 says:

    Wow what a major disappointment tonight. Either Price plays well and the team can’t score or the team scores and Price stinks the house out. I just knew on the second goal that was the beginning of the end of the game. You could just see the moment starting to switch. I know there a lot people saying that goal shouldn’t have counted cause the ref blew the whistle before the puck crossed the line. But really if Price doesn’t let that trickier in we wouldn’t be having this debate. Again St. Louis’s goal was a hi stick but then then again it counted it is what it is. Really the ref’s blew only one goal and that was St. Louis’s. Now if Price stops the second goal and the fourth goal we have a win. So the Habs have no one to blame but themselves. For me on New Years Eve after I come home from dinning out, I’m going to watch Canada play USA. I’m sure that will be a more exciting game then MTL and Florida. After spending all that money on dinning out I want to be able to keep my meal down, so pass on the Habs game. I’ll read about in the papers on New Years Day while nursing my hangover, as I’m sure the Habs will be nursing their hangover. The up side is the Habs are still on track for a lottery pick. I just hope PG is gone before the Habs make their pick in June. Knowing PG he would find a way to scre* that up as well. I could just see him come to the podium and say “The Montreal Canadians are proud to pick from Russia Andrea Markov”

  37. MilaKunis says:

    I think it’s just wishfull thinking right now to hope things will turn around after the new year but the Habs are just too deep in the hole. I will be surprised if they do make the playoffs. Right now it’s just too steep a hill to climb.

    The only thing positive I see coming out of this season is the emergence of Lars Eller and other players. I like that Cunneyworth is giving Eller the chance to show his potential. i also like Emelin, Deharnais, Pacioretty, Cole, and Leblanc. Subban and , yes, Price, have been given too much responsibility to bear on their young shoulders and their play has shown.

    Hopefully things will turn around after the new year. If not, I still look forward to next season.

  38. Les Canayens says:

    The opposing team tonight is prime example that Tanking™ may or may not get you a winning team:

    Lecavalier, 1st overall
    Stamkos, 1st overall
    Hedman, 2nd overall

    Bonus: Boucher as coach, Moore and MAB that some lament we lost them for nothing, etc…

    Be careful of what you wish for.

    (someone will eventually counter that they have no goaltending…)

    Je suis pas content.

    ☞ I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears.☜

  39. jimmy shaker says:

    Where’s sholli from Manitoba and his halak zingers tonight? Anyway, Price let in two softies that was the difference. Who cares boone if RC didn’t have two centres on the ice for that draw…..should price have saved it or not? Bottom line! Our best player wasn’t our best player and the boys lost. It was a decent game until the softies showed up…..and my man MAB who all you on here loathed…..it was great to see him out there scoring and shooting 20 min average time on the ice, 23 points and +7 so far this year, but a quebec native who loved playing as a hab, wanted to stay, was very very cheap, could put up points, shoot bombs from the point on the PP but yet wasn’t good enough for ya! How do you like those apples? Oh well, next year looks promising right? And boone your way off on the next coach and gm, way off my friend.


  40. Whatever says:

    It doesn’t change the season, but it still burns my ass that the league keeps screwing us. The second Tampa goal should not have counted. Changed the game.

    Basically, the ref changed his mind. Has that ever happened before? The ref called the play dead thinking Price had the puck. Whether the puck went in before the whistle or not is irrelevant. The ref had the INTENT to call the play dead. It isn’t even reviewable.

    Read this from NHL VP Mike Murphy in 2009:


    • JF says:

      A couple of years ago in a game against Pittsburgh, we scored the tying goal, and the referee (Chris Lee of course) waved it off on the grounds that he meant to blow the whistle because he’d lost sight of the puck. That goal should have counted because the whistle was not blown and the play was not dead. It seems we very often end up on the wrong end of bad decisions by the referees. Last night, Pittsburgh’s OT goal, the Leafs’ tying goal way back in October when the puck hit the netting and the whistle wasn’t blown. That’s a potential 4 points (we got one in each of the Pittsburgh and Toronto games).

  41. Un Canadien errant says:

    You were almost reasonable for a second there NCRhabsfan. Mr. Gauthier did take a calculated risk in signing Andrei Markov, based surely on the advice of team doctors. And he will have to assume responsibility if it doesn’t work out.

    But then you lose me when you tell me that Andrei won’t ever play again. Did you go to the same med school as Dr. Recchi?

    And then to ensure that you’re not taken seriously, you flippantly refer to someone’s murder. If that’s your attempt at comedy, that’s some seriously weak shit. Do yourself a favour and delete that.

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  42. parkex says:

    “And the Habs select, with their #6 overall pick, CSB’s #35 ranked but #1 Quebec born player, M.Bussieres” – just to keep the locals happy. Can it happen?

  43. Un Canadien errant says:

    I have to disagree with Mr. Boone and other posters on here who state that Erik Cole let his man, Vincent Lecavalier, get away from him on the latter’s goal off the faceoff. It would be more accurate to say that Mr. Cole, who is not a centreman, gamely tried to check the 6’4″ 220 lbs. Tampa Bay centre, but eventually lost him.

    What was he supposed to do, tackle him? In the ‘new’ NHL, that’s frowned upon, the ref might yell at you to quit tackling or else take a penalty the next time you do it. In another game when it’s the first period and scoreless.

    But anyway, good goal by Vinny, good try by Erik to try to contain that beast.

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  44. nova scotia vees says:

    I see improvement in this team’s play over the last 2 games. The hobbles have been removed from P.K. Do you think that Orr would have been great had his coaches said…”hey Bobby, don’t rush with the puck”. That is what J.M. did to P.K. Take a page from basketball you dumb hockey coaches….P.K. rushes and a forward rotates to cover. Or just watch some tapes of the great Red Wings teams. Boy could those Russians and Nordic guys play a 5 man game.
    And take the blinders off when it comes to Price. He is another Dryden…looks good behind a Hall of Fame defense, but nada with a weaker D. I know, I know…I’m obsessed. LOL

    • axman88 says:

      no one seems to be blaming the referees (or Toronto head office) for their outstanding plays! :-p

    • billylove says:

      Price is another Dryden?!?! Please confirm that you’re kidding, PLEASE.

    • Jim Edson says:

      What cannot be dismissed is that Dryden had the backsides of Robinson, Savard, Lapointe, Nyrup and for the rough stuff Bouchard facing him game in and out.

      There were no Thortons, Neils or Hartnells terrorizing his crease.

      It just didn’t happen!

      What does the Commissioner of the NHL do?

      In short, a league commissioner is the action man for the Board of Governors.

      They tell him what they want done and he works to make it happen through his subordinates while making sure that individual franchises play by the rules.

      ******** Translated if you haven’t won the Stanley Cup in 40 years your NHL team is becoming irrelevant in a sports mad city long behind MLB, NFL and NBA teams, you just tell the commissioner(who you gave a new contract at 7 plus million per) to make it happen and the rules are bent sufficiently to action the command.

  45. smiler2729 says:

    If you guys think we suck, look at Tampa Bay, they’re no better and they have Steve Yzerman as GM, Guy Boucher as coach, Stamkos, Lecavalier, St.Louis, etc…

    The league just plain sucks.

    Jack Edwards sucks chowdah chunks

  46. Un Canadien errant says:

    We talked earlier about how there’s no substitute for talent in the NHL. The Canadiens were victims of a couple of questionable goals tonight, but more to the point, they were the victims of two great players, namely Vincent Lecavalier and Steve Stamkos. Both scored to help edge the Canadiens, who gave up a two-goal lead to a team they are battling with to get into the playoffs.

    Raphaël Diaz continued his hot streak, with two more assists. P.K. Subban showed more restraint in his game, but at the end of the game, when it was appropriate, he took more chances to try to get the tying goal. I applauded his efforts as he rushed the puck and tried to go coast to coast with it with 90 seconds left. He also made a sound decision in deciding to stay on the offensive blueline instead of retreating to back up Alexei Emelin as he was pressured while trying to get a handle of the puck. When he did eventually lose it, P.K. raced back, showing great acceleration, and broke up the play. All in all, a good game for Mr. Subban, who I’ve been critical of this season, but only because I love him, and want him to succeed.

    Hal Gill was also effective in his own way. I saw him play Ryan Malone close on a couple occasions, and that seemed to calm down the hulking Lightning forward tonight, compared to his appearance in Montreal during the pre-season. While some assail Mr. Gill for not dropping the gloves, he is still an imposing figure and he tends to cool opponents’ tempers.

    David Desharnais, denuded of his big wingers, is now condemned to ineffectiveness. Again tonight, he won puck battles along the boards, darted in and out of traffic, went to the front of the net, wasting everyone’s time since it’s hopeless for him without Erik Cole and Max Pacioretty. He had to slink off the ice with a puny goal and measly assist. In a completely unrelated matter, his new winger Mike Cammalleri seems to be reborn, with another goal tonight.

    On a puzzling note, during the telecast on RDS the hosts and panelists chuckled on a couple of occasions about Eric Brewer getting his clock cleaned by Wayne Simmonds during the Lightning’s most recent game against the Flyers. The latter showed again a propensity for picking his spots, goading and slashing Mr. Brewer into a fight that he won handily, and somehow did not draw the instigator penalty. The Lightning were concerned that Mr. Brewer might have suffered a concussion and he was almost held out of tonight’s game, but somehow that amused Benoit Brunet and Vincent Damphousse. We still have a ways to go.

    I’ll be looking on with interest to see if Mr. Simmonds takes on Milan Lucic the next time he plays the Bruins. He didn’t show the same determination to get at Mr. Lucic after his hit on Flyer Zac Rinaldo. I had also noticed that Mr. Simmonds acted like a cheap thug during his first game against the Canadiens, but was much better behaved the second time around when faced regularly with Travis Moen and Alexei Emelin, who had missed the first game.

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


    • VancouverHab says:

      I’m seeing the offensive attributes of DD, & I’m glad that you have a player to call your own.

      However (i.) he does need a defense as weak as TB’s to be optimally effective it seems, and (b.) he is a absolute horrorshow defensively.

      He’s a useful role player in the NHL: no more, no less. I just think that the need to elevate him to something higher than that is a sobering indictment of how bereft my beloved Habs have become for high-rank francophone talent (like Vinny Lecavalier for instance.)

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I don’t think he’s a horrorshow on defence at all. If he was Mr. Martin would NEVER have played him.

        A significant quote of his is telling: when he was first called up and the media were getting to know him, he explained that at every level of hockey that he’s ever played at, when he first joins the team he concentrates on defence and the role he’s supposed to play within the coach’s system. He said he did that to gain the confidence of the coach, and it would inevitably lead to more icetime and more offensive opportunities. I remember thinking what a smart kid he was, especially compared to Andrei Kostitsyn, for example.

        He’s not a strong guy, but he makes up for it in quickness and agility. His assist on the Mike Cammalleri goal in Ottawa evidences that, how quickly he pounced on the puck and wheeled around the net, no opponent could move in time to stop him. Along the boards, he gets low enough that opponents have a hard time getting leverage against him or getting a clean hit. He uses timing and a quick stick to steal pucks from bigger, stronger opponents all the time.

        I may be partial to him since I remember how hard it was to play against quick shifty forwards. Sure, if the opposing defencemen can get a good lick on him it’ll hurt, but they seldom do. Unlike Scott Gomez, he has a variety of moves, and goes to the net or slot without hesitation, and is effective once there.

        His linemates love him and want to play with him, and pout when they’re taken off his line. Max claims he’s the best player he ever played with.

        This is his first full season in the NHL. He’s still young, he will improve, get acclimated to the speed, get stronger and fitter still.

        The fact that he’s French-Canadian is a nice bonus. The Canadiens have a few competitive advantages. One is that they have a huge pool of hockey players who grew up idolizing the Habs, and will bleed bleu-blanc-rouge if they ever get a chance to don the jersey. I think we should use that to our advantage.

        How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


        • VancouverHab says:

          Well, that’s very convincing — esp. the JM part.

          I hope that he does become a valuable 2nd or 3rd line centre–he seems like a decent cheerful & hardworking guy with skills & vision.

        • Jim Edson says:


          Most hockey players worth their salt who idolized the Habs growing up can’t wait to get as far away from Montreal and the Allo Police talking heads who follow them around, dig through their garbage and lay siege to their homes.

          They learn quickly that they can live their hockey dreams very successfully in Philly, Pittsburgh even Boston and still maintain somewhat of a life and get paid better to boot.

          While its obvious that the Habs QMJHL scouting while entrusted to an ex referee was a disaster there also is the human factor and desire to ply their trade far away from the madding crowd of the Montreal talking heads.

          What does the Commissioner of the NHL do?

          In short, a league commissioner is the action man for the Board of Governors.

          They tell him what they want done and he works to make it happen through his subordinates while making sure that individual franchises play by the rules.

          ******** Translated if you haven’t won the Stanley Cup in 40 years your NHL team is becoming irrelevant in a sports mad city long behind MLB, NFL and NBA teams, you just tell the commissioner(who you gave a new contract at 7 plus million per) to make it happen and the rules are bent sufficiently to action the command.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            I don’t know if I’d agree with your statement that “Most” do. A significant minority maybe, especially those who have grown used to la dolce vita of Phoenix or Tampa, but I still believe that a much larger majority of francophone Canadians, and most Quebecers would choose to play in Montreal above all other cities.

            How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


          • Jim Edson says:


            20 years ago agreed but today no!

            Can you name a significant Quebec born NHL player who is pining to play in Montreal.

            Bet you agents warn their clients against signing in Montreal

            Just consider how many Quebec born high-end free-agents have been signed? ( Darche & Brisebois do not qualify)

            They certainly are not clambering to come back! The last significant Quebec born player who demanded to play in Montreal was Damphousse.

            Briere, Lecavallier, Jason Demers, Talbot, Fleury, Crawford, Gagne, Gervais, St. Louis and the list goes on have all resigned away from Montreal and that they chose to sign elsewhere tells the story if any UFA was really motivated to play in Montreal they could/would make it happen!

            They don’t seem to be losing any sleep by not wearing La Sainte Flannelle.

            They go anywhere else for less cash and a life !

            Maybe with curmudgeon JM gone things could change.

            What does the Commissioner of the NHL do?

            In short, a league commissioner is the action man for the Board of Governors.

            They tell him what they want done and he works to make it happen through his subordinates while making sure that individual franchises play by the rules.

            ******** Translated if you haven’t won the Stanley Cup in 40 years your NHL team is becoming irrelevant in a sports mad city long behind MLB, NFL and NBA teams, you just tell the commissioner(who you gave a new contract at 7 plus million per) to make it happen and the rules are bent sufficiently to action the command.

        • Rad says:

          By the way, did you see the play tonight where the diminutive DD got absolutely crunched by Pavel Kubina, who is listed at 6’4″, 258 lbs? It’s one of the few times I have seen poor little DD get rocked. DD’s size does concern me when I see that, though he seems to evade many such hits due to his smarts and low center of gravity.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            I think I did catch it, didn’t take the licence plate, but I did wince when he got hit at one point. I do notice when he gets hit, but he doesn’t whine or mug for the referee, he gets up and keeps playing hard. I notice also when he snakes in between behemoths along the boards and snags the puck with a quick lash of his stick and skates off with it. I love when that happens.

            How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


      • Rad says:

        Lecavalier was a # 1 pick and did win the Cup one year, but he’s been sub-par ever since. I too would like to see him in a Hab uniform, but at $10M/year for the next 10 years, it is probably not possible to afford him along with all the other bloated contracts we have to endure. DD at $750,000 is quite a find for those same beloved Habs. And here’s another set of numbers for you … Desharnais’ point totals so far this year: 23, compared to 25 for Vinny.

  47. avatar_58 says:

    Quel surprise. Glad I missed it.

  48. Rad says:

    Who is Julien Brisebois, and why would he be a good GM?

  49. montreal ace says:

    Watched replays of the game from tsn, and the third goal was clearly a high stick. I hope the only trades the team makes for the rest of the year, are for the future and not to make the playoffs this season. I also feel that there is not one player on this team that is untouchable if the right offer comes along. I noticed that Emilin finished the night on his natural side, I think he should finish the season there.

  50. SmartDog says:

    I only saw the last period. But to me, as much as they had a lot of chances it was mostly peripheral “can I stuff it in the pads” plays. Tampa scored on good shots and great deflections – better quality, higher percentage shots. You see this a lot of games with the Habs, they seem to either roll around in their creativity endlessly passing or forget how to pass altogether unless you call shuffling the puck along the boards passing.

    Ah well. Sad, but I’d rather be in 13th at the trade deadline than in 9th…. too many years we wasted a chance to upgrade the team by pretending to be a contender. Let’s build for the future.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • krob1000 says:

      We never seem to have the stick/body position in close….that is partly a size thing but also a desire and instinct thing. Gionta and Koivu were both very good at getting into good scroing positions in traffic without the pcuk…Gallagher from my limited viewing seems to have that knack. Dd is close but thinks too much playmaker and not enough scorer…

    • NCRhabsfan says:

      Couldn’t agree more. No trades to fix this year’s problems, only trades that have next year, or the out year’s in mind

  51. krob1000 says:

    Boone ….that 4th goal is not on Price. When there is traffic to the left it is far different than if Moore streak down the full length of the ice alone and fires from that angle….he can’t completely turn and square and it was high and hard from a weird angle….the fault on that one is more on Cole than anyone (first he lost the draw, then he lost position to one of the most dangerous players in the game….sure Price maybe could have caught it…but cole definitely should have not let his center go to the net in the dzone….. I still think the 3rd goal is tipped as the puck flutters and knuckles after that point……the only goal …and it was a huge one and the tsn turning point…..was the second one. It was probably amplified by the weird ruling given the NHL’s history and the timing near the endof the period after the Habs havingplayed so well,etc.
    It was one goal that he blew…a huge one but the team never scored in the third and hd to realize it at the time too…where were they to bail out their keeper? I blame the hockey gods….that was a weird game….one that if you toss out our current season was a damn well played game. Unfortunately every game is a must win game right now…..or must lose depen

  52. LL-not the hockey player says:

    2 seasons ago, the L’Antichambre gang predicted no playoffs, and you know the rest.

    Until they are mathematically eliminated, they are still in the playoff race.

  53. HardHabits says:

    I think the Habs need to trade their 1st round draft pick. Then they can Tank™.

  54. ProHabs says:

    So frustrating. This team needs to get on a roll so bad and get a winning streak going. I thought after the Ottawa game, they were going to get going. But I guess the 1 win 1 lose pattern will continue with this team. I think I need to take a break from watching this team play. I get too depressed after the games.

  55. Kooch7800 says:

    coach vote for me is mark crawford

  56. showey47 says:

    Don’t know much about julien brisebois mr.boone even though he was formerly with the habs organization,but carbo again as head coach? Really?

    • ProHabs says:

      Why Carbo Boone. What makes you think things would be better the second time around.

    • Mike Boone says:

      When he played, everyone said Carbo was like a coach on the ice. He’s an intelligent man, and I think the first go-round taught him some things.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger
      Gazette City columnist

      • ProHabs says:

        Alright, you talked me into it. Carbo is in as coach. Not sure about your choice of Patrice Brisbois as GM though.

        • Jim Edson says:

          Believe it was Julien Brisebois not Patrice!

          What does the Commissioner of the NHL do?

          In short, a league commissioner is the action man for the Board of Governors.

          They tell him what they want done and he works to make it happen through his subordinates while making sure that individual franchises play by the rules.

          ******** Translated if you haven’t won the Stanley Cup in 40 years your NHL team is becoming irrelevant in a sports mad city long behind MLB, NFL and NBA teams, you just tell the commissioner(who you gave a new contract at 7 plus million per) to make it happen and the rules are bent sufficiently to action the command.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I’m not saying he’s the only candidate, but he should certainly be considered.

      I don’t know what happened. After the years of wandering the desert since the firing of Serge Savard, I thought our team was finally in good hands with Bob Gainey and Guy Carbonneau. How did it all turn to sludge so quickly?

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


      • ProHabs says:

        Agreed. I thought Gainey would be our GM for the next 10 years and Carbo would be the coach for the next 10 years. Kind of like what they have going in Nashville and Buffalo. But it all went wrong to the point that Gainey and Carbo don’t even talk to each other anymore, a friendship ruined. That is unfortunate.

        Something needs to be done to get these 2 guys to forgive each other and become friends again.

      • Jim Edson says:

        Drafting the entire state of Minnesota instead of major junior players who have made a life commitment to pro-hockey was the start.

        A scouting department both pro and amateur being run by an abject failure in Goatier after the departure of Andre Savard.

        What does the Commissioner of the NHL do?

        In short, a league commissioner is the action man for the Board of Governors.

        They tell him what they want done and he works to make it happen through his subordinates while making sure that individual franchises play by the rules.

        ******** Translated if you haven’t won the Stanley Cup in 40 years your NHL team is becoming irrelevant in a sports mad city long behind MLB, NFL and NBA teams, you just tell the commissioner(who you gave a new contract at 7 plus million per) to make it happen and the rules are bent sufficiently to action the command.

  57. Vid says:

    Definitely time to seriously consider trading some older players on contract to clear some cap space.

  58. 13th place to 8th place.. I don’t see it happening.

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